Delhi’s Kapil Kumar, carried his red-hot form into the season-ending TATA Steel Tour Championship 2019 with a spellbinding effort of 10-under-62 at the Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur on Thursday ..
The 27-year-old Kapil,a contender in the previous two tournaments played on the TATA Steel PGTI, thus set the bar in round one of the Rs. 1.5 crore event
Kolkata-based SSP Chawrasia made a happy return to Jamshedpur after 12 long years as he struck a spectacular nine-under-63 in the first round to be placed second.
On a cold and overcast day that witnessed a light drizzle for about 20 minutes, Delhi’s Rashid Khan, the prime contender for the PGTI Order of Merit title, was in tied third at 64 along with Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi, Kolkata’s Shankar Das and Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah.
Two of the marquee names in the field, Jeev Milkha Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar, too enjoyed a promising start as both returned scores of 66 to be tied ninth.
Kapil Kumar, fresh from his tied fifth and tied 14th finishes in his last two events, continued the good work with an error-free 62 .Currently 38th on the PGTI’s money list, he raced to six-under after his first nine holes on the back-nine.
Kapil’s superb driving and tee shots then contributed to his four birdies on the front-nine. He landed his approach from 170 yards to within a foot of the pin on the eighth for his last birdie of the day. The man searching for his maiden title narrowly missed a chip-putt birdie on the closing ninth.
“I’ve drawn a lot of confidence from my performances over the last two weeks. I shot four low scores and was the leader for the first three rounds in Kolkata and the halfway leader in Bengaluru” He said
SSP Chawrasia’s 63 was punctuated by an eagle on the second, four birdies on the front-nine and three more on the back-nine. He had a splendid start as he landed his approach from 200 yards on the par-5 second within four feet of the hole to set up an eagle.
He then chipped it within a foot for birdie on the third that set the tempo for the rest of his round as he kept hitting it close.
Chawrasia, a four-time winner on the European Tour, said, “I’m playing with a lot of confidence having retained my European Tour card recently. This week I’m also feeling the positive effects of having previously won three titles in Jamshedpur. A good result here would help me end the year on a high and just give me that much-needed momentum for next year.
Khalin Joshi had an incredible run of five straight birdies on the back-nine during his round of 64. Jeev Milkha Singh, playing his first ever competitive round at Golmuri, mixed eight birdies with two bogeys in his round of 66.
Jeev said, “It’s an amazing layout here at Golmuri. One needs to shape the ball well and distance control is important. I’m happy with my solid start and consistent round. I was good off the tee and with my second shots. I landed it close and made some quality chip-putts. I’ll look to build on this effort over the next three days.”
Jyoti Randhawa shot a 69 on day one to be placed tied 27th, Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa S,made a quiet start with a 71 to be placed tied 45th.